cover of book

Seward's Folly: A New Look at the Alaska Purchase
by Lee A. Farrow
University of Alaska Press, 2016
Paper: 978-1-60223-303-4 | eISBN: 978-1-60223-304-1
Library of Congress Classification E669.F38 2016
Dewey Decimal Classification 327.73047

The Alaska Purchase—denounced at the time as “Seward’s Folly” but now seen as a masterstroke—is well known in American history. But few know the rest of the story.
            This book aims to correct that. Lee Farrow offers here a detailed account of just what the Alaska Purchase was, how it came about, its impact at the time, and more. Farrow shows why both America and Russia had plenty of good reasons to want the sale to occur, including Russia’s desire to let go of an unprofitable, hard-to-manage colony and the belief in the United States that securing Alaska could help the nation gain control of British Columbia and generate closer trade ties with Asia . Farrow also delves into the implications of the deal for foreign policy and international diplomacy far beyond Russia and the United States at a moment when the global balance of power was in question.
            A thorough, readable retelling of a story we only think we know, Seward’s Folly will become the standard book on the Alaska Purchase.
Nearby on shelf for United States / Late nineteenth century, 1865-1900 / Andrew Johnson's administration, April 15, 1865-1869: